Bay Ridge, Victorian Flatbush Selected
Compiled by Linda Collins
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
MANHATTAN — Two Brooklyn neighborhoods — Bay Ridge and Victorian Flatbush — are included in the “2012 Six to Celebrate,” announced by the Historic Districts Council (HDC) this week.
This annual listing of historic New York City neighborhoods that merit preservation attention is the only citywide list of preservation priorities. The representative groups for the six will be formally introduced at the Six to Celebrate Launch Party at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the Bowery Poetry Club in Manhattan.
According to the HDC, the six neighborhoods were chosen from applications submitted by neighborhood groups on the basis of the architectural and historic merit of the area, the level of threat to the neighborhood, and the strength and willingness of the local advocates.
They were also neighborhoods where the HDC’s citywide preservation perspective and assistance could be the most meaningful. Throughout 2012, HDC staff will work with these neighborhood partners to set and reach preservation goals through strategic planning, advocacy, outreach, programs and publicity.
The two in Brooklyn are described as follows:
Elegant rowhouses, Victorian-era mansions and pre-war apartment buildings combine with parks, vibrant commercial streets and impressive institutional buildings to make Bay Ridge a quintessential New York City neighborhood, the HDC notes. For more than 30 years, the Bay Ridge Conservancy has been working to preserve and enhance the built environment of this architecturally and ethnically diverse area.
Victorian Flatbush is known for having the largest concentration of Victorian wood frame homes in the country. The area presently has five city historic districts, but the blocks in between them remain undesignated and unprotected despite architecture of the same vintage and style. Six local groups representing Beverly Square East, Beverly Square West, Caton Park, Ditmas Park West, South Midwood and West Midwood have joined together with the Flatbush Development Corporation to “complete the quilt” of city designation of their neighborhoods.
Goal: Bring Attention to Threatened Neighborhoods
Said Simeon Bankoff, HDC executive director, “Neighborhoods throughout New York are fighting an unseen struggle to determine their own futures. By bringing these locally driven neighborhood preservation efforts into the spotlight, HDC hopes to focus New Yorkers’ attention on the very real threats that historic communities throughout the city are facing from indiscriminate and inappropriate development. As the only list of its kind in New York City, the Six to Celebrate will help raise awareness of local efforts to save neighborhoods on a citywide level.”
The other four are the Far Rockaway Beachside Bungalows in Queens, the Port Morris ferry gantries in The Bronx, Morningside Heights in Manhattan and Van Cortlandt Village in The Bronx.